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side of him is a chair, one for the high steward, another for the Regius professor of Divinity; and farther in front, and somewhat lower, sit the two proctors. The whole of this gallery or platform occupying the segment of a circle, is appropriated to the Doctors. Projecting somewhat from either side, and still further in front of the Doctors, appears a rostrum or pulpit. The whole area, the ladies gallery, and part of the undergraduates gallery, are now occupied by the Masters, all in university costume. As non-resident members, there are seen now in convocation, the Bishops of Chichester and Llandaff, the Earl of Eldon, Wiscount Sandon, Lord Ashley, Lord Romney, Lord Haverdale, Sir J. Mordaunt, Sir T. D. Acland, Sir W. Heathcote, Sir R. Comyn, Sir S. Glynn, Mr.W. E. Gladstone, M.P., Mr. Henley, M.P., Mr. Mackinnon, M.P., Archdeacon Manning, Dr. Tait, Dr. Phillimore, Dr. Mereweather, Dr. Moberley, Dr. Russell, &c. Silence is obtained, all is breathless attention. All eyes are turned in succession from the Vice Chancellor and the other authorities, to the rostrum on the eastern side, where Mr. Ward is seen, accompanied by Mr. Oakeley, and other friends. The proceedings commence. The Vice Chancellor, speaking in Latin, states the object of the convocation, and directs the Registrar of the University, Dr. Bliss, to read these passages from Mr. Ward's, ‘Ideal of a Christian Church considered,’ which had previously been announced as the ground of the proceedings by the Hebdomadal Board. One or two members attempt to address the House, but are prevented, as not being in order at this stage of the proceedings. At Mr. Ward's request, to be allowed to speak in his vernacular tongue, the statute is, pro tempore, dispensed with, which requires the use of Latin only. Mr. Ward then enters on his defence with considerable address, in a speech which, with two pauses of a few minutes to recover his exhaustion, occupied from an hour to an hour and a half in the delivery, following pretty nearly the same line of argument as that he had pursued in his pamphlet previously published. He was heard with the deepest attention throughout. He first protested in a strong, but respectful manner, against the competency of the tribunal, and the legality of the proceedings; he then endeavoured to impress on the minds of members the great difficulty, and yet the necessity of deciding on his case with impartiality. As the defence has been published in so many forms, it is unnecessary here to enter into it at length; it may suffice to observe, that the drift of the whole argument was this: no man can subscribe all the formulas of the church in a natural sense; others, liberals, high churchmen, and evangelicals, have all been obliged to put a force on some parts of the Articles or Prayer-Book, though they differ as to the particular wording which they find it necessary to evade; it would be
unjust therefore to condemn him for what others have done, and are still doing, with impunity. During the delivery of his speech, expressions of approbation frequently burst forth, which were uniformly checked by Mr. Ward, who entreated the members of convocation to act with the calm deliberation of judges, and the seriousness of Christians. A protest in Latin is tendered by Mr. Ward. After two or three short addresses in Latin from some of the members, the Vice-Chancellor puts the question respecting the condemnation of the extracts from Mr. Ward's book, and immediately the walls of the theatre resound with the loud vociferation of 'placet,' of 'non placet,' mingling in confused hubbub. A scrutiny is demanded. The proctors take their station at the eastern and western doors to receive the votes as the members pass out, who return by the great door in front of the Vice-Chancellor. The senior proctor rises, and all is expectation. The case is decided; majori parti placet,' disposes of the first proposition. The numbers appear to have been
For the Condemnation - - 777
Majority 391 The second proposition was then announced, respecting Mr. Ward's degradation. Mr. Ward alleges in his defence his willingness to serve the Church of England, if allowed, and therefore declares it harsh and severe, if while others who have joined the church of Rome are allowed to retain their degrees, he should be deprived of them. The question is again put. Mr. Ellison of Balliol College addresses the convocation in Latin. Votes are taken by the proctors, and again the placets have it, though with a much smaller majority. The numbers now are
For the Degradation - - - 569
58 Before the last question was decided, Mr. Ward left the theatre, and in Broad Street was loudly cheered by a large body of undergraduates.
The third proposition, for condemning the principles of interpretation advocated in Tract 90, was then put; on which the senior proctor rose, and at once stopped the proceedings of the whole convocation by pronouncing authoritatively, Nobis procuratoribus non placet. This was succeeded by loud demonstrations of approbation and dissatisfaction, testified by cheers
and hisses; and here the proceedings of the convocation terminated. Besides the protest, however, which Mr. Ward presented in due form, in a letter to the Vice-Chancellor, dated the 13th of Feb., he states his reasons why he holds that his
position in the university is morally unaffected by what had passed,' which are briefly these. The convocation, or the üniversity in any of its functions, is incompetent to determine authoritatively the sense in which the Articles are to be subscribed by its members. Legal authorities have determined that the university is not the 'imponens' in the matter of subscription, 'that the articles are imposed, and the sense of subscription determined by the law of the land; and that the judges of the ecclesiastical courts alone have the power authori. tatively to declare that sense, while the supreme legislature alone has the power of altering or adding to it.' If, in Mr. Ward's view, convocation were the true 'imponens,' he would, without feeling disposed to inquire how far subscription is necessarily to be considered a continuing act,' at once relinquish his position in the university ; but, concluding his letter, he says, 'I cannot feel that any obligation is laid upon me, in consequence of the events of this day, to act for the future upon any different view of subscription to the Articles, from that on which I have hitherto acted, and which is expressed in my work and pamphlet. Mr. Oakeley, also, without delay, writes to the Vice-Chancellor, calls his attention to a declaration which he has made in his pamphlet on Tract 90, and which he had repeated in a tract published during the previous fortnight, in these words, 'I have no wish to remain a member of the University, or a minister of the Church of England, under false colours. I claim the right which has already been asserted in another quarter, of holding (as distinct from teaching) all Roman doctrine, and that notwithstanding my subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles. These words,' Mr. Oakeley says, 'with the same deliberation and distinctness, I again appropriate and repeat. With, what appears to us, a disingenuous quibbling, capable of frittering away the sense and meaning of any declaration or act, he declares that he does not view the decree of convocation as touching his case as to his mode of subscribing the Articles. But disdaining any shelter to himself on this account, he challenges the university to deal with him as it had with Mr. Ward. But 'if, on the other hand,' he continues, “I am allowed, after this plain and public declaration of my sentiments, to retain my place in the university, I shall regard such acquiescence as equivalent to an admission on the part of the academical authorities, that my own subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles is not at variance with 'good faith.” Before the non-resident members of convoc
tion were dispersed, an address of thanks to the proctors was pretty numerously signed; among the signatures to which, were those of Mr. Gladstone, Judge Coleridge, Dr. Hook, Archdeacon Manning, and Sir W. Heathcote. A requisition to the Vice-Chancellor also received many signatures, requesting him that, as the university had, by the intervention of the proctors, been prevented from expressing an opinion on Tract 90, the matter might ‘again, after the least possible delay, be submitted to convocation.’ There are some points in Mr. Ward's defence, which, on account of the light they throw on the present state of principles and parties, require a few remarks; his defence, we mean, as contained not only in his oral vindication on the memorable 13th of February, but especially as it is exhibited in a more consecutive and logical manner in his “Address to Members of Convocation,’ published some time previously. And in the outset we wish to do full justice both to the talents which it displays, and the spirit which it breathes. Mr. Ward, though he has his weak points, is assuredly not an opponent to be despised ; he has much logical acumen, united with great warmth of manner and force of expression ; he has both courage and address, and generally manages to convert a defence into a vigorous attack. There also appears an openness which is above suspicion, and a remarkable sincerity, even in the evasion and duplicity which he practises and acknowledges. There is also manifested a far greater disposition than might have been expected, to tolerate the opinions of others, and to remain on terms of peace with all in the church, however opposite may be their views. But what this spirit, whereever it now exists, might become, if once the Romanizing party ruled the university, is matter of some apprehension. Popery full and rank becomes apparently lamb-like when its talons are cut, its fangs extracted, and its movements restricted by a chain; but with liberty and power to work out its will, it is ever to be feared. The violence and malignity with which the yet masked tractarians assailed Dr. Hampden, and the persevering agitation perfas et nefas by which they succeeded in raising a storm of persecution against him—much to the present regret of many who took part in it—together with the general character of their more recent movements, in and out of the university, show, in a manner which cannot be mistaken, what may be expected, should that body, of which Mr. Newman is the general and Mr. Ward the champion, ever obtain uncontrolled ascendency. The groundwork of Mr. Ward's defence is this, if he has done wrong in thus forcing the articles, or, as Mr. Oakeley would say, extorting them, to speak sentiments which they do not really mean, others are equally culpable with reference to the Prayer Book and its services. No man, he affirms, can subscribe to all the formulas in a natural sense, he has therefore done only what others do. But no recrimination, however just, can make wrong right. The moral quality of the action is the same, however many may participate in similar guilt. Such a plea may be valid against the infliction of punishment by those who are equally culpable; but it cannot give the character of rectitude to a violation of truth, nor justify a departure from honesty and good faith.
Mr. Ward, with great adroitness and force, charges those who hold evangelical doctrine especially with inconsistency in blaming him ; but he has undoubtedly, in some instances, both overstated and misstated their principles. He has looked at their tenets through a medium of his own, which has presented them to his mind discoloured and distorted. He has drawn from their sentiments inferences which they who hold them deny; he has charged on all, what may have been found ultra in any, and has made no discrimination where many differences exist. It has been alleged in reply, that there is an important difference between articles of faith and forms of devotion, that it is by the former that the latter are to be interpreted, and that the expressions in the offices and services of the church, are, according to the 6th Article, to be interpreted by a reference to the scripture as the primary rule. Whatever force there may be in such a reply, certainly there is a wide difference in the position of the evangelical and the Romanist, who both subscribe. By education perhaps, by habit, and by strong predilection, those who decidedly hold evangelical truth, have become so accustomed to regard as accordant with their views, modes of expression, which to others appear quite opposed to them, that they are seldom, probably, aware of discrepancy. Romanists, in subscribing the Articles, perceive and acknowledge how decidedly they are against them, at least in their natural sense; and it was not till the publication of the jesuitical expedient proposed in Tract 90, that they knew how to reconcile their subscription to protestant articles with the belief in popish doctrines. Those who are evangelical do not professedly 'evade' the natural meaning of expressions,' divorce the dry wording' from their spirit, and put a 'non-natural' signification on them; they do not admit, that while the obvious meaning of catechism or prayer book is' as plain as words can make it on the (un)evangelical side,' they designedly explain it away, and put on it an unnatural sense; they do not claim the right of holding doctrines which they do not teach; they do not declare that their faith, their love, their sympathies are with another church which the articles of their own church evidently condemn; there